Date: Monday, February 1st, 1999, 00:00
PowerBooks fared quite well at the Fourth Annual Designers 3D CAD Shoot-Out at the A/E/C Systems trade show in Los Angeles last week. The Shoot-Out is a live three-hour competition where teams of 3 architects and designers, each using different CAD software, are asked to design a building from scratch. The participants, who don’t know what type of building to design, or the location in advance, are required to produce plans, elevation, a building section, site model, 12 perspectives, 2 high-quality renderings, a 3D metafile and an animation. Teams are also periodically interrupted by being asked to present vignettes showing off their particular software’s features.The CAD market is heavily Wintel-oriented, however, 50 percent of winning computers were PowerBook G3s, two of the three winners used PowerBook G3s, two of the three winners used Mac-first cross-platform software and all of the Macs used were on winning teams.From the third-place team:
Our team, Robert Anderson, Jeffrey Ouellette, and myself, used Diehl Graphsoft’s VectorWorks, a low-cost, object-oriented CAD program with parametric object capabilities, integrated 2D drafting and 3D modeling, texturing and information management-streets at about $600. Most other CAD teams ran $4000 a seat apps. While VectorWorks is now completely cross-platform, it had its origins on the Mac. The CAD market is heavily Wintel-oriented, and most CAD apps are Unix/NT, Windows/NT, or Mac/Windows/NT (a minority to which VectorWorks belongs). While some other teams competed using the latest 500 mHz PIIIs, our team elected to run on two PowerBook G3s (a 292 and 266, both with 192 mB RAM and 14.1″ TFTs). We were able to get on the ground and run practices quickly and easily, and set-up was a breeze, of course-one cross-over cable and we were locked and loaded.
We took 3d place; the winning team (ArchiCad) ran a cross-platform solution; one of their machines as well was a G3 PowerBook. We were able to meet more requirements (such as renderings and animations) than other teams (even the second place team), in spite of their heavier boxes. We owe a lot to our software, but our iron helped, too.